Why YTMA Was a Major Fail… #awkward

on Nov 3, 2013 in Blog | 3 comments

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YouTube’s effect on the music industry is a phenomenon. Effectively turning conventional methods of achieving musical success on its head, YouTube allows what would normally be an unknown individual to reach their audience directly, sharing their talents with the world. Artists such as Lindsey Stirling, PSY, and Boyce Avenue have all benefited from millions of views and exposure through the YouTube experience.

It should be no surprise that YouTube has a desire to make the move to conventional award shows for the artists that bring billions of hits to their site. Thus the YouTube Music Awards (#YTMA) were born.

In concept, the whole things makes sense. Gather your stars, hand out awards, and film it… simple right? Unfortunately for YTMA, the internet was not pleased with the results. Averaging around 180,000 audience members watching the event live on YouTube, twitter was ablaze with comments about the awkward tone the whole show held.

YTMA Awkward


So what made the show so hard to watch? Without any formal research to back my claims, I’d like to offer some unsolicited advice to YouTube:

YouTube is awesome! We love it! We love our artists, and we love that we can support them by viewing, sharing, and helping them rise to the top. However, the one thing we love about YouTube is the polish, the shine, the perfection. The videos are beautiful, the vocals are crisp, and the entire process is planned. Those are the exact elements that you risk losing as soon as you enter the live video space.

YTMA took the entire aspect of what we love about YouTube media, and lost it by going live. The video was sloppy, the audio was off, and the process was entirely chaotic. Now let’s be clear, we the internet love us some chaos. However, what we love about it is the moments are unplanned but beautiful, spontaneous but funny, awkward but heartwarming. As much as the big wigs upstairs would counter, you simply can’t plan viral popularity, especially not in a live format. Throwing paint on your hosts, placing awards in cakes, and running around all over the entire venue is not funny for the viewer, it’s frustrating. “Nothing is scripted tonight… please bear with us.” We know that’s a lie, and I’m calling you on it. Someone had to have a script. Someone had the idea for the cakes, the chalk war, indeed someone had the script to say “nothing is scripted tonight” written down… on a script.

It seems to me you got your planning all mixed up. You spent hours planning how to make a live chalk war work, but forgot to plan a script? Planned for having a couple commit suicide because they are so into each other (wtf?), but forgot to make a path for the hosts to get to where they want to be?

We could go on, about the slew of awkward moments that could be entirely avoided with a little foresight, but the twittersphere has made its point. We appreciate the effort, and we want future award shows to happen, but please just let the internet be the internet. We didn’t need all this for an awesome award show, simply show the artists we love accepting awards we wanted them to earn, show some new pre-recorded videos, and baby you got yourself an award show going.

PS. Babies cry.

PSS. I’m available for hire for the next round, I’ll have my people contact your people.


  1. hamiltus

    November 5, 2013

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    WORST. AWARDS. SHOW EVER. Why did YouTube use Hollywood artists? Simple. YouTube doesn’t trust it’s creators and partners and therefore decided to rely on “Big time Celebs”. This event was just like Comedy Week all over again. And Eminem didn’t deserve the Artist Award IMO, I feel people who actually are YouTubers who work solely for their content should have won such as Epic Rap Battle Of History instead of celebrities who use YouTube as a viral marketing tool. Although congrats to DeStorm and Lindsay Stirling for making the cut.

    Dear YouTube, get this in your head : You are not a TV company, you never will be and you shouldn’t try to be like TV. Sure they flew out creators such as Daily Grace and iJustine to be at the shows in NYC and London but then they shoved them onto the sidelines, never mentioned them and then ignore them by going with big names like lady gaga and Eminem. In short, YouTube needs to give it’s partners a chance and not rely on or try to become Hollywood.

  2. Chris

    November 6, 2013

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    Totally agree with you both of your comments, there is so much potential for a great show here… but YouTube just keeps missing the mark!

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